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Author & Book Alert: A Matter of Latitude by Isobel Blackthorn

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Welcome to next edition of AUTHOR ALERT & SPOTLIGHT. Today’s guest is…

Isobel Blackthorn and her novel, A Matter of Latitude, because it has an upcoming discount that you need to know about. Isobel is an author at Creativia Pub / Next Chapter Pub, the same place where I am published. I’ve previously read one of her novels, Clarissa’s Warning, and you can click the link to see my 5-star review of this excellent drama about what happens to a woman on the Canary Islands. If you’re interested in A Matter of Latitude, you can purchase it via Amazon here.

A Matter of Latitude is .99 cents from July 16th through 20th. I just bought a copy… who wants to buddy read with me this week?

Book Overview

From the acclaimed author of The Drago Tree comes a riveting thriller about survival, revenge and long-hidden secrets.

When Lanzarote anti-corruption activist Celestino is T-boned on a lonely road, he knows the collision was no accident. Wounded and fearing for his life, he hides in an abandoned fishing village, waiting for a chance to make it home.

Meanwhile, his wife Paula is distraught and sets out to look for him. Paula’s search for her husband quickly descends into mayhem, danger and intrigue. Before long, she realizes she’s being followed. She needs answers, and fast.

But where is Celestino, and will he ever make it back alive?

“A Matter of Latitude simmers with danger, betrayal and treachery, drawing the reader into the island’s history of shady dealings and uneasy relationships between natives, tourists and expats… Isobel Blackthorn has crafted an atmospheric and setting-rich novel with alluring lyrical style.” – Sandi Wallace, award-winning crime fiction author

About the Author

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of unique and engaging fiction. She writes across a range of genres, including psychological thrillers, gripping mysteries, captivating travel fiction and hilarious dark satire. Isobel was shortlisted for the Ada Cambridge Prose Prize 2019.

Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey’s life and works has culminated in the biographical novel, The Unlikely Occultist. 

Isobel carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain, her former home. Many of her novels are set on the islands, including The Drago Tree, which was released in 2015 and is now in Spanish translation, Clarissa’s Warning and A Matter of Latitude. These novels are setting rich and fall into the broad genre of travel fiction, and the novels are as much stories about the islands themselves as they are straight-ahead entertainment.

Isobel has led a rich and interesting life and her stories are as diverse as her experiences, the highs and lows, and the dramas. Some of her writing is dark, like the psychological thriller, Twerk, which is based on six years of research and first-hand accounts of dancers working in what are euphemistically called gentlemen’s clubs. 

A life-long campaigner for social justice, Isobel has written, protested and leant her weight to a range of issues including family violence. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives near Melbourne, Australia.

Key Links:

author.to/IsobelBlackthorn

viewbook.at/Occultist

viewbook.at/ClarissaWarning

viewbook.at/Latitude

http://isobelblackthorn.com

https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768657.Isobel_Blackthorn

https://twitter.com/IBlackthornhttps://www.instagram.com/isobelblackthorn

Interview: Questions & Answers

  • What is your location?
    • I am British and I live in Australia. I also used to live in the Canary Islands and Barcelona. I speak enough Spanish to get by. As an author, I am very much European in style. My home is wherever I happen to be at the time.
  • How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles?
    • I self-published my first book, a memoir, in 2011. I did well considering I knew not a thing about book marketing. In 2012, I got my first break into the small press scene when Ginninderra Press picked up my short story collection. A gap of almost three years, then Odyssey Books offered to publish my first novel, The Drago Tree, a love story set in the Canary Islands. They went on to publish another two novels and re-released the short stories. After that, I journeyed into the dark side with three novels – all dark thrillers – published by HellBound Books, USA. I was put onto Creativia in late 2018, and they now have my next two Canary Islands novels and The Unlikely Occultist, a work of biographical fiction based on the life of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey.
  • Tell us a little bit about your books including the genres.
    • I write in a variety of genres, including mysteries, dark thrillers, contemporary and literary, and historical fiction. My most popular books are those set in the Canary Islands – The Drago Tree, Clarissa’s Warning and A Matter of Latitude. These are stand-alone novels yet they share characters and a world, and they are sequential in time. That said, they are not a series, more a collection. I will be adding to that collection soon with a fourth novel set on Fuerteventura, drawing on characters in Clarissa’s Warning. Each of these novels tackles some of the issues facing those islands. The local culture and the environment are under serious threat from tourism and corruption. The islands have a dark history of colonial conquest and harsh colonial rule. For some reason, those tiny dots of land in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of southern Morocco, have embedded themselves in my heart. I may or I may not continue setting novels there. The only reason I might not is because each time I do, it sets up a deep yearning and I end up looking on real estate sites and planning to migrate.
  • Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
    • My goal is simply to progress. I have reached a stage of critical mass with nine novels, a memoir and numerous short stories under my belt. I either expand and flourish somehow, either in the Indie scene or by entering mainstream publishing, or I will be treading water. I was shortlisted for a prestigious literary award this year, and I would like that to happen again. We all want to do better than we are in this very competitive and swamped industry. Only those who persist and work hard prevail. I am one of those types.
  • With so many books being written today, what makes your books stand out from the crowd?
    • I have been told I have a distinct voice, a brand. Each of my novels is different from the rest yet there is something that connects them all. Me, I guess! My novels contain interesting themes, tackle big ideas or issues. I started out writing in the style of literary fiction. That was how I learned to write because they are the books I love. My writing has a definite literature feel about it, so I’m told. I also like to experiment with genre and with narrative style. A lot of my novels are genre hybrids, they do not sit easily in any box.
  • Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?
    • This entirely depends on the story I am writing. The Drago Tree started out as a single sentence. I went with the flow, went with my characters. A Matter of Latitude was heavily plotted start to finish. It proved a very tricky book to write as I wanted to include the theme of corruption and tourism, but I did not want that to come across wooden and I also didn’t want to land myself in the mire as regards litigation. I trod a very fine line. I like well-woven exposition in a novel, it enriches the story, and I am not one for straight ahead, four to the floor entertainment driven books, that just isn’t my style. I like to duck and weave a bit, slow things down, get the reader thinking. Generally, I plot as little as possible.
  • Do you read your reviews?  Do you respond to them, good or bad?  Do you do anything special to get those reviews?
    • I do read all my reviews. I love it when a good one comes in and usually that’s the case. Negative reviews are disappointing, but I don’t take it personally. Sometimes, very occasionally, someone decides to be really nasty, either a troll or just someone vindictive and spiteful. When that happens, and it has a few times, it can be quite upsetting. Kinda knocks your confidence, which of course it is meant to. I work hard to get reviews. I network, pitch to bloggers, do all the usual things to encourage reviews. I am in the difficult situation of being in Australia, writing books set in Spain that appeal to UK readers. So my Amazon reviews get split between three territories, US, UK and AU. Very annoying! We all know Amazon reviews matter. They matter far too much!
  • Do you write full-time or part-time?
    • I am a full-time author. That includes all the book promotion. I start my working day when I wake up and finish around seven. That amounts to about thirteen-hour days, seven days a week. Of course, there is a lot of down time and I am not chained to my desk. Writing needs a lot of air around it, a lot of space. In that time, I also do some paid work to keep myself afloat.
  • What do your plans for future projects include?
    • I am at work on a full non-fiction biography of Alice Bailey. This is my most exciting project to date. Along with this, I am writing an historical fiction novel based on my own family history and after that, I might try my hand at a children’s book set in Australia – in my bid to crack the market here – and a novel based on a very mysterious and little known occult figure of the 19th century. I also have my fourth and possibly last Canary Islands novel, which is almost finished and ready to submit. It is a mystery with a dark twist.

Wrap Up

That concludes today’s author alert and spotlight. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Isobel… I love meeting and befriending international authors, and this was the perfect chance to share someone special with all of you!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Alert: Sea Scope by Debbie DeLouise — FREE Download from 6/14 thru 6/18

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Today, I am sharing an alert on a wonderful book I read last month. Sea Scope by Debbie DeLouise is available as a FREE download for the next five days. If you want to learn a little more, check out my review or a message from the author below.

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I’m gifting my readers with a copy of my new release, Sea Scope, featuring a murder by a lighthouse.  Don’t miss the chance to get a great summer read for free. Get your free book here from June 14 to 18:

mybook.to/SeaScope

Sarah Collins needs an escape. Mourning her brother’s death and the impending breakup of her marriage, she accepts an invitation to return to her childhood home in South Carolina, where her family operated an inn.

She hasn’t been back to Sea Scope for twenty years; not since she and her brother Glen discovered a body by the nearby lighthouse. She never understood why her parents left Sea Scope so suddenly, or the reasons behind her father’s suicide.

After Sarah returns to the inn, she faces long-buried memories, text messages and strange clues. Something is not right in Sea Scope.

Reunited with people from her past, she tries to figure out what’s going on in her childhood home. As the past and present collide, she must face truths about her family, and what happened that summer day by the lighthouse. But will she survive to tell the tale?

Check out my other books and stories on my Amazon Author Page 

Cobble Cove Cozy Mystery Series

https://debbiedelouise.com

If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, all my eBooks are free.

Kindle Download: FATHER FIGURE for .99 (5/16 – 5/20)

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Father Figure is a .99 cent download for the next 5 days from 5/16 thru 5/20. It officially begins at 11am EST today – help yourselves! Thank you so much for your support in sharing, downloading, reading, and reviewing. I appreciate it!   Download @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure

Description

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent. Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.    

Watching Glass Shatter

Father Figure was officially launched for sale on Amazon on April 2, 2018 as both an e-book and a physical book. Reviews have been extremely positive between Goodreads and Amazon since the 5-day free download and 5-day book blitz.

  • Book Blitz: For 5 days, (4/30 thru 5/4) we posted promotions, hints, and feedback
  • Blog Tour: For 5 days (6/4 thru 6/8) we posted reviews, interviews and a giveaway

Gratitude

  • Thank you to everyone who has read or reviewed the book in the last few weeks. I am so happy it is going well. I can’t wait to share everything as they post.
  • I am also very appreciative for everyone who has re-blogged or shared these reviews and posts. You help make this even more successful.
  • If you’ve published any posts that I’ve missed or didn’t include here, please let me know. I will keep updating my author website with all the links through end of June when I’m done with the initial marketing phase.

BLOG TOUR KICK-OFF: Flower Power Trip (Book #3 in Braxton Campus Mysteries)

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It’s the first day of the blog tour for Flower Power Trip, the 3rd book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries series. To get the book, you can buy a Kindle or physical copy via Amazon. To see the main page on the blog tour, you can check out Great Escapes Virtual Tours. The list of blogs is below in this post, please visit them all and re-blog, share, and tweet for others. Find a new blogger to follow, too!

Overview: Braxton College is throwing the Heroes & Villains Costume Extravaganza to raise money for renovations to the antiquated Memorial Library. While attending, Kellan stumbles upon a close family friend standing over a dead body that’s dressed as Dr. Evil. Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill an annoying guest at the Roarke and Daughters Inn or does the victim have a more intimate connection to someone else on campus? As Kellan helps the school’s president, Ursula, bury a scandalous secret from her past and unearth the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his own family who’s reappeared after a lengthy absence. When all of the peculiar events around town trace back to the Stoddards, a new family who recently moved to Wharton County, the explosive discovery only offers more confusion. Between the special flower exhibit that’s made an unplanned stop on campus and strange postcards arriving each week from all around the world, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. Unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to arrive at his doorstep. When it does, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

download

All Books in the Series

Academic Curveball (#1) – 10/15/18

Broken Heart Attack (#2) – 11/25/18

Flower Power Trip (#3) – 3/30/19

Mistaken Identity Crisis (#4) – 6/30/19

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We’ve arranged a phenomenal blog tour with ~20 amazing bloggers who will share reviews, giveaways, interviews, and other special content from April 5th through April 15th. Come join the fun and leave a comment on everyone’s blog. For more information, check out the Great Escape Virtual Blog Tour pagewhere you’ll find all the details.

FLOWER-POWER-TRIP-BANNER-448

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 5 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

April 5 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 6 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

April 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

April 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

April 10 – Jane Reads – REVIEW

April 10 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 15 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

April 15 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Check out the new map of Braxton that readers will find when they purchase Flower Power Trip

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are three books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, and Flower Power Trip. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.



Cover Reveal – Bloggers needed on 5th April 2019 for James J Cudney’s Book 4 of Braxton Campus series @jamescudney4 #CreativiaPub #CoverReveal

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Friends,

I have a new book coming out in June 2019 for the Braxton Campus Mysteries. I’ve partnered with Digital Reads Blog Tours for the cover reveal this Friday 4/5. You can sign up to post with us and share the new cover before anyone else sees it. How exciting! Why don’t you join in? See the post link below and help spread the word. Thank you!

Jay

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https://digitalreadsblogtours.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/cover-reveal-bloggers-needed-on-5th-april-2019-for-james-j-cudneys-book-4-of-braxton-campus-series-jamescudney4-creativiapub-coverreveal/

Book Review: The Cracked Altar by Timothy J. R. Rains

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The Cracked AltarThe Cracked Altar by Timothy J. R. Rains
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Cracked Altar, a fantasy novel by Timothy J. R. Rains, first interested me because of its intriguing title. Would it have a religious theme? What dastardly action would happen, as when something says cracked, it usually has a clever twist. As soon as I dove in, Hinkle’s near-capture captivated me. I’m not typically a reader in this genre, but the more I sample some works, I find myself becoming a fan.

Hinkle’s family tree is complex. We immediately learn that her mother is gone. She’s been living with a grandmother in a world where her family has suffered. There’s an uncle who’s a mystery and aunt who’s either a pious nun or a nefarious witch. Which will it be? Hinkle is rescued by her own special brand of knight, and her grandmother engineers a solution that will benefit them all in the future. It’s a powerful scene and sets a fantastic tone for the book. We follow Hinkle’s path with her new protector only to learn nothing we’ve thought true is indeed accurate. In this world, what’s gray is more important than what’s black and white.

Rains builds a fascinating and well-developed world where the rich are rich, and the poor are poor. Part-fairy tale and part mystical quest, the novel will engage your visual senses as each scene and action are vividly described. The battle scenes were strong but not over-the-top. The secrets were revealed at timely moments. And the clues were in abundance. The story is gripping, and I’m hopeful there will be a sequel. Kudos to the author for gaining a new fan in the fantasy genre.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Chaos by Patricia Cornwell

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Chaos (Kay Scarpetta, #24)Chaos by Patricia Cornwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chaos is the 24th book in the ‘Kay Scarpetta’ thriller and suspense series focusing on a medical examiner’s investigations. It is currently the last book Patricia Cornwell has written in this series as of 2016 as well as serves as the third issue in an arc about serial killer Carrie Grethen.

The novel is a slower read than usual. We spend a lot of time in Kay’s head worrying about things that we don’t know a lot about yet. For the most part, the book takes place in just a few days. Several odd deaths occur, and little by little, Kay, Marino, Benton, and Lucy connect them together with the help of various staff. It seems like Carrie Grethen has found another accomplice, and she’s sought revenge on Kay. Unfortunately, someone close to Kay pays the price in this installment. We also end the books with an incredibly concerning secret reveal about a new character who was introduced a couple of books ago. What drama!

As a three-book arc, it was definitely interesting to see the progression of the serial killer’s mind. I almost wish we had chapters from Carrie’s perspective, so that we fully appreciated her psychotic need to get revenge. That’s my biggest concern in this series right now… if an author wants to build up a huge nut as the crazy killer, we need to know why not just through other people’s views, but through the killer’s mind, too. We get that only if they provide messages in writing, make phone calls, or interact in scenes with dialog. That hasn’t much happened in this arc, so I struggled to really understand ‘why’ it was so important to hurt Kay.

As a standalone book, other than being a little too slow of a read, it was fascinating to learn all about the technology and weapons being used. It’s probably one or two levels above my knowledge base and capability of understanding the detail, but not so much I felt removed. It clicked, but I found myself skimming on occasion when we got into paragraphs about exactly how it came to be in the hands of the serial killer. The best aspects were seeing Kay’s connections with Marino and her staff. She shines with them. Not with Benton. He’s a bit too boring for her. And Lucy has been too far removed for a boatload of books, so I’ve kinda lost any interest in her. The new girlfriend and son angle is interesting, but I wish we’d met them sooner.

That said, it’s a fine ending for the arc. I’m left wondering where the books go next… she’s due for one this year, but I can’t find anything about it. I’ll get it when it comes out… this installment was a 3.5 for me.

View all my reviews